24 Things You May Not Know About The Moomins

    How Moomin are you?

    1. A quick reminder: The Moomins are a fairytale family of Finnish "trolls" who have adventures with their friends and neighbours in Moomin Valley.

    2. The now internationally beloved Moomins first appeared in a series of comic strips and novels by Finnish writer, artist, and illustrator Tove Jansson.

    3. So now to the stuff you might not know. Jansson drew her first ever Moomin on the toilet wall of her family's summer house during a childhood argument with her brothers about philosophy.

    4. The first printed Moomin appeared in an anti-Hitler cartoon Jansson drew for satirical Finnish magazine Garm in 1938. She signed herself off with an angry Moomin.

    5. At that time, her Moomin was called Snork and looked thinner and creepier than the rounded, friendly Moomins we know today.

    6. Britain's first glimpse of Moomintroll was a shot of his bottom in the first Moomin comic strip to run in The London Evening News in 1952. The series continued until 1970.

    7. Jansson started producing Moomin novels alongside her comic strips. She wrote the first Moomin novel, Moomin and the Great Flood, at the end of the Second World War.

    8. Incidentally, Tove Jansson is pronounced "Tor-vay Yarn-son".

    9. Although Jansson was Finnish, The Moomins was originally written in Swedish.

    10. Moomin Valley was inspired by the area around Jansson's family summer house in northern Finland.

    The fertile greenery of Moomin Valley echoes Pellinki, the archipelago in the Gulf of Finland where Jansson spent her childhood summers.

    11. The adventurous Moominpappa, with his top hat and seafaring nature, was based on Jansson's storm-chasing father.

    12. Janssen had both male and female romantic partners over the course of her life. Too-Ticky, the piratical tomboy, was based on Jansson's life partner, the celebrated graphic designer Tuulikki Pietilä.


    13. And the characters Thingumy and Bob were based on an another, ill-fated, same-sex love affair.

    14. The character of Toft, who appears in Moomin Valley in November, was based on Tove Jansson herself.

    15. The Moomins became so popular that you could read Moomin studies at Swedish universities in the 1950s.

    16. Moomin philosophy has been declared Dionysian rather than Apollonian.

    17. Jansson rejected an offer from Walt Disney to buy up the Moomin brand.

    18. A theme park called Moomin World opened in Finland in 1993.

    19. But Jansson also built her own Moomin House.

    20. There has been a Moomin opera and several Moomin plays.

    21. And even a Moomin cookbook. Published in 2010, it gives an introduction to Finnish forage and forest cuisine, something called "apple grog", and even toast.

    22. The first Moomin TV series was the famous "fuzzy-felt" Moomins, which aired in the UK with this spooky but charming theme tune in the 1970s.

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    23. Jansson's brother Lars took over the comic strip in 1961 and drew it until 1974.

    24. Although the Moomins started life in the 1940s, they're still going strong today. The movie Moomins on the Riviera was released in 2014.

    View this video on YouTube